Australian Team Isuzu D-Max unveil Concept-X vehicles

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Words: Robert Barry
21 Aug 2018

A throwaway comment about buying a set of mud tyres at a 4x4 show has lead to the creation of two unique off-road vehicles for the Australian precision driving troupe Team D-Max.

Team D-Max parent company EMG Precision Driving has unveiled Concept X; a pair of super-sized off-road behemoths that dwarf their showroom counterparts.

Vastly bigger than most modified 4x4 vehicles, the Concept X duo feature muscular styling, pumped-out bodies and huge suspension lifts to accommodate four 38 x 15.5 inch R20 Toyo Open Country mud terrain tyres.

“It was the tyres that got us started, following a throw-away comment made at a four-wheel drive show,” says Team D-Max lead driver Jack Monkhouse. “We saw some gigantic tyres on the Toyo stand and EMG director and owner of Team D-Max Wayne Boatwright joked about putting a set on his company car,” he says.

What started out as a joke became a light-bulb moment for the team and set it on a mission to build the ultimate double act of two unique Isuzu Ute vehicles.

“It certainly got a bit out of control but once we’d started, we were determined to make them special,” says Boatwright.

“We didn’t set out to build a racer or pre-runner or rock crawler, or yet another version of the ultimate 4x4. We really wanted to go our own way, so most of the build; the guards, bull bars, bonnet, brakes, suspension and chassis mods are all in-house custom work,” he says.

The result is two vehicles of epic proportions. Combining form and function, the Concept X spec sheet includes front and rear winches and a bespoke suspension package with 60mm remote reservoir shock absorbers.

A high performance four wheel disc brake package on both vehicles combines six-piston callipers with 390mm full floating rotors at the front and four piston callipers with 355mm full floating rotors at the rear.

The D-Max’s unique full-alloy tray is a work of art, and below it the standard rear leaf spring suspension set-up has been replaced with a custom MU-X style 5-link coil spring configuration.

With the big tyres and another 7 inches of suspension lift, the approach and departure angles steepen to 50 and 38 degrees respectively.

While the exhaust systems have been tweaked, the Concept X vehicles are still powered by the standard Isuzu 4JJ1 series 3-litre turbo-diesel engine and 6-speed automatic transmissions, and the interior incorporates the styling and features of the LS-T model D-Max and MU-X.

Team D-MAX is known for putting their vehicles through the wringer with their spectacular precision driving displays.

“We’ve used different vehicle brands throughout the team’s history but Isuzu’s truck DNA sets them apart from the rest. Their diesel engines are simply the best and the whole package has been outstanding in terms of reliability,” says Boatwright.

“The performance vehicles are close to showroom spec and get jumped, bumped and driven on two wheels, week in week out. We really want to show people how capable they are without having to go crazy with modifications. The Concept X duo is a bit on the wild side though. They’re a bit like the evil cousins of the family,” he says.

While not destined for showrooms, the public will get the chance to see the Concept X D-Max and MU-X in the metal as they tour 4WD shows and other events around Australia.

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NZ Autocar

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